If you’re just coming back from a fun filled Saturday, you may be wondering what is happening in Syria. The short answer is, the Trump administration has attacked the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (again) for alleged use of chlorine gas on rebels in Douma, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Damascus.
Eighty-seven members of Congress, led by Reps. Justin Amash, Zoe Lofgren, Barbara Lee and Thomas Massie asked the president not to proceed with strikes without proper congressional authorization. Obviously they were ignored.
Today, @RepZoeLofgren @RepBarbaraLee @RepThomasMassie and I sent a bipartisan letter to @POTUS—cosigned by 84 of our colleagues—demanding that the president not commence offensive military action against Syria without congressional approval, as the Constitution requires. pic.twitter.com/53awn6Fizh
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 14, 2018
The New York Times has a thorough roundup of the situation here:
WASHINGTON — The United States and European allies launched airstrikes on Friday night against Syrian research, storage and military targets as President Trump sought to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack near Damascus last weekend that killed more than 40 people.
Britain and France joined the United States in the strikes in a coordinated operation that was intended to show Western resolve in the face of what the leaders of the three nations called persistent violations of international law. Mr. Trump characterized it as the beginning of a sustained effort to force Mr. Assad to stop using banned weapons, but only ordered a limited, one-night operation that hit three targets.
“These are not the actions of a man,” Mr. Trump said of last weekend’s suspected chemical attack in a televised address from the White House Diplomatic Room. “They are crimes of a monster instead.”
Shortly after the attack, the Syrian presidency posted on Twitter, “Honorable souls cannot be humiliated.”
The strikes risked pulling the United States deeper into the complex, multisided war in Syria and raised the possibility of confrontation with Russia and Iran, both of which were supporting Mr. Assad with military forces. Within 90 minutes, the Russian ambassador to the United States warned of “consequences” for the allied attacks.
I have often pointed to the Weinberger/Powerll Doctrine as a blueprint for what wars should be engaged in and which should be ignored. It’s hard to imagine any reading of that doctrine that would justify this attack.